Rapid serodiagnosis of Staphylococcus aureus surgical site infection following median sternotomy
mesheuropmc: musculoskeletal system
Objectives: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of a novel ELISA for the serodiagnosis of surgical site infection (SSI) due to staphylococci following median sternotomy. Methods: Twelve patients with a superficial sternal SSI and 19 with a deep sternal SSI due to Staphylococcus aureus were compared with 37 control patients who also underwent median sternotomy for cardiac surgery but exhibited no microbiological or clinical symptoms of infection. A further five patients with sternal SSI due to coagulase-negative (CoNS) staphylococci were studied. An ELISA incorporating a recently recognised exocellular short chain form of lipoteichoic acid (lipid S) recovered from CoNS, was used to determine serum levels of anti-lipid S IgG in all patient groups. Results: Serum anti-lipid S IgG titres of patients with sternal SSI due to S. aureus were significantly higher than the control patients (P<0.0001). In addition, patients with deep sternal SSI had significantly higher serum anti-lipid S IgG titres than patients with superficial sternal SSI (P=0.03). Serum anti-lipid S IgG titres of patients with sternal SSI due to CoNS were significantly higher than the control patients (P=0.001). Conclusion: The lipid S ELISA may facilitate the diagnosis of sternal SSI due to S. aureus and could also be of value with infection due to CoNS. © 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd. on behalf of The Bristish Infection Society.